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Ronald Mark Epstein, M.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 506-9484

Fax: (585) 473-2245

groupAn Accountable Health Partner

assignmentNot Accepting New Patients

Faculty Appointments


Professional Background

Ronald M. Epstein, M.D. is a Professor of Family Medicine, Oncology & Medicine (Palliative Care) at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and is board certified in Family Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Epstein co-directs the Center for Communication and Disparities Research and Mindful Practice Programs at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Dr. Epstein is an internationally recognized physician, educator, researcher, and writer. He has published groundbreaking research into communication in medical settings and developed innovative educational programs to optimize communication between health professionals and people who are seriously ill and promote professional self-awareness, mindfulness, and well-being. His over 300 scholarly articles and his book, Attending: Medicine, Mindfulness and Humanity, show how health professionals can flourish and build strong connections with patients and colleagues and optimize the care they provide.

Dr. Epstein graduated from Wesleyan University (1976) and Harvard Medical School (1984). He was named the first George Engel and John Romano Dean's Teaching Scholar at the University of Rochester. National honors include the Lynn Payer Award from the Academy of Communication in Healthcare for lifetime achievement in research on communication and health, the Humanism in Medicine Award from the New York Academy of Medicine and the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, the Humanities Award from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and the American Cancer Society’s highest award, the Clinical Research Professorship. He has been a Fulbright scholar at the Institute for Health Studies in Barcelona, Spain, and a visiting scholar at the University of Sydney and the Brocher Institute in Hermance, Switzerland. He is a frequent keynote speaker at major national and international conferences on medical education, communication, and mindfulness in health care. He is an accomplished harpsichordist and gourmet cook, and an avid cyclist and cross-country skier. His wife, Deborah Fox is a lutenist and founding artistic director of Pegasus Early Music. They have two children, Malka and Eli. Learn more about Dr. Epstein’s work at




    MD | Harvard Medical School

    Post-doctoral Training & Residency

    07/01/1988 - 06/30/1990
    Fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at Highland Hospital of Rochester

    07/01/1985 - 06/30/1987
    Residency in Family Medicine at Highland Hospital of Rochester

    07/01/1984 - 06/30/1985
    Internship in Family Medicine at Highland Hospital of Rochester

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    Humanities Award, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

    American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professor Award

    Health Care Achievement Award
    Sponsor: Rochester Business Journal

    Gold Humanism Award
    Sponsor: Society of Teachers of Family Medicine
    Location: San Diego, CA

    2014 - 2014
    The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds
    Sponsor: Thomson Reuters

    Highly Cited Researcher
    Sponsor: Thomson Reuters

    Steven Z. Miller Humanism in Medicine Award
    Sponsor: New York Academy of Medicine

    "Top Doctor"
    Sponsor: Castle Connolly Medical Ltd

    "Top Doctor"
    Sponsor: US News & World Report

    Article of the Year Award
    Sponsor: Academy Health

    Best Published Research Paper of the Year Award
    Sponsor: Society of General Internal Medicine

    Outstanding Contributions to the Literature on Theory, Practice & Teaching of Effective Healthcare Communication & Related Skill
    Sponsor: American Academy on Communication in Healthcare

    Fulbright Senior Scholar Award in Public/Global Health
    Sponsor: International Award
    Location: University of Córdoba, Spain

    Humanism in Medicine Award
    Sponsor: Association of American Medical Colleges nominee
    Location: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

    1998 - 2013
    "Best Doctor in America"
    Sponsor: America's Best Doctors

    1997 - 1998
    Fulbright Senior Lecturers Award
    Sponsor: Institute for Health Studies
    Location: Barcelona, Spain, International Award

    1995 - 1998
    George L. Engel and John Romano Dean's Teaching Scholar
    Sponsor: URSMD
    Location: Rochester, NY

    1994 - 1998
    Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Generalist Physician Faculty Scholar

    Volunteer of the Year Award
    Sponsor: Volunteers of America
    Location: Rochester, NY

    Best Workshop
    Sponsor: STFM Northeast Regional Meeting
    Location: Hershey, PA

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    Journal Articles

    Mossman B, Perry LM, Voss HM, Maciejewski PK, Gramling R, Duberstein P, Prigerson HG, Epstein RM, Hoerger M. "Patient-Caregiver Dyads & End-of-Life Care: Caregiver Personality Disrupts Gender-based Norms." Journal of pain and symptom management.. 2024 Jan 24; Epub 2024 Jan 24.

    Epstein RM, Beach MC. ""I don't need your pills, I need your attention:" Steps toward deep listening in medical encounters." Current opinion in psychology.. 2023 Aug 10; 53:101685. Epub 2023 Aug 10.

    Derricks V, Gainsburg I, Shields C, Fiscella K, Epstein R, Yu V, Griggs JJ. "Examining the effects of physician burnout on pain management for patients with advanced lung cancer." Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer.. 2023 Jul 17; 31(8):469. Epub 2023 Jul 17.

    Books & Chapters

    Chapter Title: Medicine
    Book Title: Encyclopedia of Creativity
    Author List: Szuster RR, Epstein, RM
    Edited By: Runco, M., Pritzker, S.
    Published By: Academic Press 2020

    Chapter Title: Mindful Practice
    Book Title: Behavioral Medicine, 5th edition
    Author List: Epstein RM
    Edited By: Feldman M, Christensen J
    Published By: Lange 2019

    Book Title: Estar Presente: Mindfulness, Medicina, y Calidad Humana
    Author List: Epstein RM
    Published By: Kairos 2018